Saturday, May 23, 2015

Four Ways to Ease the Tension When Your Child Is Having a *Moment*

I am sure I have mentioned our *shake it off* routine --works TREMENDOUSLY well for *transitional* periods, like from ncp to cp!

SHAKE it off/out
HUG it out
BREATH it out
TICKLE it out

I did this with my 6yo when he came back from being with dad and *immediately* started whining!!! I actually did ALL of them! lol

Instead of barking at him, becoming frustrated (for the millionth time) I gave him a big hug and  said: Your whining is indicating to me you are not feeling %100 right now. {I said this while hugging him.} Do you need to hug it out? Or breath it out--then we did hands to heart center & took a few deep breathes--then I smiled and said OR do you need to TICKLE it out!?! And began tickling him. He laughed it out. 

WHew! Crisis averted. He proceeded the back yard, happily doing who knows what--as he often goes & does--he loves the outdoors. 

Peace restored!!! 

SHAKE it off/out: go the porch and vigorously shake the entire body, all the limbs, say a few words about leaving whatever happened previously *behind* and *outside* declare your home a place of peace and love.

HUG it out: embrace in a FULL body hug. Squeeze tight. Stay physically connected for at least a a couple breathes.

BREATHE it out: {hands to heart center} Slowly raise hands above head while taking a deep breath until they meet. Keeping the palms touching bring them down in front of chest/heart. Hold. Repeat at least 3 times, taking your time.

TICKLE it out: {self explanatory, right?} Smile big & tickle your child. Enjoy a moment to relax & laugh boisterously.

YOU know your child. YOU know what they need and what will work. An angry child may not respond positively to tickling. A sick child may not be capable of shaking it out. A whiny child may just need a hug and to be reminded how smart they are. Of course, the articulate child may be fine just *talking it out* but even my older children often need a *physical trigger* to disconnect and switch gears in their attitude (or as we like to call it: BADitude!).

These also work well for MOMMAS and other adults. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Collecting Acorns

It's the mundane, ordinary, nothing-special, looking moments.
You're on the lawn, gathering acorns, sifting through the dirt, dead leaves, avoiding the split and cracked ones...when a heart opens. Conversation ensues.

We're not meant to entertain our kids constantly. It can't be Disneyland every day. It can be togetherness. It can be quiet opportunities of time. We don't have to complicate it.

An opportunity with nothing pressing and no agenda, except to be...together...sitting in dirt, collecting acorns.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rain, drops.

Is there a sweeter sound
than rain pelting your roof top,
windows and asphalt? 
Or a scent that brings more familiarity
than of those first few drops
on the pavement?

Creation sings us to sleep tonight,
pouring out her melodic blessings.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Hello May

heart emoticon Psalm 141:2 NIV May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. heart emoticon

MAY we recognize and fulfill our God given destiny, to honor the Lord our God, in deed, in word and all that we purpose in our heart. MAY our intentions be pure, selfless and motivated by love in all things. Amen.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hide & Seek

Playing a major game of hide & seek & 6yo hasn't even looked in the closet yet!

It's a Sunday afternoon...this seemed like a good idea. SO I hid in my closet and all the other kids hid while the youngest was outside in the back yard. I hollered at him to come in the house. 

He won't look in the closet! 
He kept coming into my room and looking on my bed, but not once looked in the closet. He returned to the back yard and oldest snuck  out to spy on him from the roof.

I finally had to have uncle/my brother call and tell him to *look in the closet*! Lol

He was just about to lose it crying from not being able to find me or anyone else. He walked into my room So many times and I still can't believe he never looked in the closet. Every time he left, I would holler again, for him to come in the house. It was fun while it lasted. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Day Like That...

Starting the day early to take 12yo to state testing...Out of toothpaste. Out of peanut butter. Out of lunch meat. 6yo wet the bed. The dryer's not heating and therefore drying...Seriously considered staying in sweats for the grocery market run.#NotEvenaSweatsPerson#RealLife

These are the moments, the mornings, when your choices matter more than ever. When your perspective is paramount. Choose the blessed perspective. The grateful truths.

I put on my comfy jeans...the ones that are extra loose, my new fav, flowy pink shirt, my cozy green sweater...Sunscreen on the face, bit of foundation, eyeliner, mascara...squeeze the death out of that toothpaste tube, hair in a pony tail, flower clip to top it. 7 minute transformation!

Most of all-a smile {auto correct just changed that to 'smoke'-lolololol} & gentle spirit. Joy, love, gratitude...are more powerful than anything you face today.

These are the opportunities to make the powerful choice! It is and will continue to be a GREAT day!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Hike Day: Dominguez Gap Wetlands, Long Beach

It is adjacent to the Los Angeles River. (which you can bike or walk along the upper asphalt trail) This is a dirt trail, along a man-made wetlands. You will notice a variety of native plants and brush, ducks and squirrels and if you are an avid bird watcher, you will recognize a variety of birds making a home here. You might catch a glimpse of a few shy turtles.

The trail is mainly flat dirt, but asphalt at the beginning...which is slightly confusing...just keep following the trail and stay on the lower one or else you will be on the concrete river bed. There are informative kiosks, which offer historical and environmental insight and information. Dogs welcome, always on leash of course and pls pick up any droppings.

Toward the end of the trail, where it u-turns, you will find a nice shady spot with concrete, 2 benches in the sun & a trash can. Great place to stop and have lunch--bring a blanket if you want to sit under the shade cover. You will also see the Metro line go by quite a few times behind the end of the trail. Kids might like that. NO restrooms. The trail was empty when we went. feel like you are in more nature than a park, but right down the street from home. Full sun, wear sunblock, hat, glasses etc. Nice breeze today. I believe the trail is about 2.2 miles round trip. The water is NOT for swimming, boating or fishing.

Today--it was SUPER CLEAN. NO trash, just a few doggy land mines. The trail is also fairly wide. Low on the *adventure scale* but high for convenience, accessibility and relaxation/peacefulness. Nice for a short respite.

The boys created a bit of adventure by exploring the utility building. They went to the top of a walk-out and climbed down a ladder to mess around. Everyone needs some adventure in their life, right?

Here is our crew for the day on a bridge that crossed from the trail side to the other, where there is no trail. Apparently, this is a flood control area, as the streets next to the river, used to flood as the river over flowed.

It was my birthday and my dear sweet friend surprised me with cupcakes with candle.

That was such a nice surprise. My oldest would return from his short term mission trip to the Philippines later this night and I had a secret surprise harboring in my heart waiting for all of us upon his return...that I was looking forward too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Broken Glass, Fragile Hearts

Glass do hearts. Equally fragile, unequally valuable

Your kids will make mistakes, hey, maybe they'll even be careless and reckless. How you respond is *crucial*. An angry or impatient response only teaches a child you are not to be trusted or safe when they find themselves in trouble, in a situation-even of their own making-they don't know how to get out of, or have made a mistake they can't fix alone.

Be gracious. Help them figure out solutions, how to manage consequences and failures, with out condemnation. Accidents happen.

Broken glass is replaceable,  a heart isn't.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Hike Day: El Dorado Nature Center, Long Beach

We stayed local today. This is more of a walk than a hike. Very little kid and family friendly. The nature center also features a paved trail that is stroller and wheel chair friendly-making nature accessible for everyone.

There is a fee for parking. We parked outside in a residential neighborhood. The trail features a nature center at the entrance with a lot of touchable, hands-on drawers, bones, pine cones, various animal jaws and pelts.

There is a small gift shop that features educational and nature themed knick-knacks, books, T-shirts, pencils, bracelets etc suitable for all ages. There are restrooms and a drinking fountain in the nature center as well.

Adventure Kids!

This trail is popular and there are always classes and events going on--don't expect to be alone on the trail. There is a choice to follow a 1 mile or 2 mile trail loop. The two mile trail seemed a little confusing. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and rest or look around, with benches conveniently located along the trail. There is also another restroom and drinking fountain along the 2 mile trail.

You can expect to see ducks, turtles, squirrels and lizards. This is not a trail for dogs or pets.
This is not a very adventurous trail. It's easy and even the dirt trail is pretty stroller friendly. It is relaxing though and a good mix of sun and shade.

Younger kids will enjoy seeing the ducks and turtles, crossing the bridges and they will love everything they can touch in the air conditioned nature center.

If you do pay for parking, you can access the entire the regional park.

If you are not local, this nature center is conveniently located off the freeway. It is also accessible via bicycle with bike racks outside the entrance.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter, Medieval Times and Goodbye for Now!

My youngest's birthday also fell on Easter Sunday this year and for the third year in a row, my oldest was leaving to the Philippines for a short term mission. It was a full day ahead but I couldn't help but at least make myself a new dress...Sunday morning right before church!

Oldest was preaching and started his message by blessing and speaking into the heart of youngest in honor of his birthday. It was the sweetest thing ever!

This seems to be how our family pictures go lately. I take what I can. haha.

For the afternoon celebrations, we surprised Kurtis with tickets to Medieval Times, dinner and show. Out of the blue, a few weeks ago he said he wanted to go. I wasn't sure if I could afford it, but being the frugal mom I am, I searched the internet for a deal and found a great discount.

I indulged him a little by purchasing an extra knighting package-the king knights him in front of everyone and announces his birthday during the show.

It was a splurge, but that's what birthdays are for right?
In between the time oldest needed to be at the airport and our celebrations at Medieval Times...we didn't do much but lounge around the house waiting. So I made a quick photo opp with free photo prop printables I found online and a green checkered piece of fabric.

It was a fun way to kill some time and capture a few Easter memories.

It was finally time to say goodbye. For the third year in a row, we drove to LAX-Tom Bradley International Airport to see oldest off to a short term mission trip in the Philippines.

Though I am used to it, I did feel a bit weepy this time.

I knew we weren't really saying goodbye...but it always requires some sort of faith and trust in God anyway. I never truly know what God may be asking of us. Often, He does ask His people to let go, in unexpected ways.

In trust I say, "See you soon son."